By Heather Legg
One of our reader’s recently wrote in mentioning taking probiotics for treating eczema. Though I’ve known of the benefits of probiotics, especially when taking antibiotics, I did not know how beneficial they were for treating eczema. Thank you for this information!
As I looked into it further, I found a lot of supporting research. Often eczema is a result of a food allergy, or related to it in someway. Many people with food allergies also have eczema. Doctors often treat eczema with steroids, in creams or medicines, and though it works, it’s not the best thing to repeatedly take or give your children.
Now, however, research is showing that probiotics offer great benefits in helping children maintain good health. The specific one our reader mentioned is Vidazorb belly boost which is a chewable probiotic supplement. Results of eczema improvement have been seen within a few days of taking belly boost, and symptoms of eczema have disappeared within months of taking it.
In a Finnish study, it was shown that probiotics offset inflammatory responses and those who took the supplement had less occurrences of eczema and also showed more improvement than the group not taking probiotics.
Some other natural supplements to try to improve and get rid of eczema are borage oil, primrose oil, vitamin V6, vitamin E and zinc. Calendula is soothing when the eczema flares, but not always helpful in curing the problem.
My younger daughter actually had a flare up last night. She called me into her room moments after putting her to bed and her inner and backs of thighs were full of hives and itching her. I put on a coat of cetaphil, topped it with with cortisone cream and kissed her good night. I talked to a friend later who asked if my daughter had worn blue jeans that day. Weirdly enough, she had, for the first time this season. My friend ( an experienced mom with three children with severe eczema) told me how the combination of the drying weather and denim can make it flare.
I’ll leave you with one last trick for soothing an eczema flare. Like the calendula, it won’t cure it, but will relieve it, and that’s what you need at two in the morning when your child is itching. My friend told me that her doctor shared this tip with her – keep popcorn kernels in the freezer and when the itching strikes, put a handful in a zip top box and let your child roll it over the eczema. The cold kernels will relieve the itching, no condensation will form as they’re not melting (like frozen peas would), and it also provides a good, tactical distraction. We thought frozen, dried beans would work, too. Needless to say, I’ve got a bag of beans and some popcorn kernels in my freezer as I write.